Need to Know: Track clo­sues in Kaipatiki re­serves area

Walking New Zealand - - Contents -

Auck­land Coun­cil and Kaipātiki Lo­cal Board started in Septem­ber to close a num­ber of vul­ner­a­ble tracks and some re­serves in the Kaipātiki area, to pro­tect against fur­ther spread of kauri dieback disease.

Th­ese clo­sures come after the con­fir­ma­tion last month of the disease on trees in Kauri Park and Muriel Fisher Re­serve, Birken­head. Since then, Auck­land Coun­cil has car­ried out a risk as­sess­ment in the area and has de­ter­mined that sev­eral tracks should be closed.

Auck­land Coun­cil Biose­cu­rity Man­ager Phil Brown says that with the disease now present in the area, other nearby kauri are at risk.

“Our ob­jec­tive across the region is to pro­tect sig­nif­i­cant stands of kauri that do not have the disease, of which there are many in the Kaipātiki area,” he says.

“After the disease was dis­cov­ered, we had to think strate­gi­cally about our next steps to con­tain it within the area. We have lis­tened to the strong con­cerns from Kaipātiki Lo­cal Board and com­mu­nity and made the de­ci­sion to tem­po­rar­ily close tracks as a pre­ven­tive mea­sure. Clo­sures in place for three to six months

“At this stage the clo­sures will be in place for three to six months, while tracks are as­sessed and pri­ori­tised for up­grade works or re-rout­ing. We’ll then aim to get up­graded tracks re-opened as soon as pos­si­ble.

Kaipātiki Lo­cal Board Chair John Gil­lon says the board is de­lighted to see the coun­cil im­ple­ment th­ese clo­sures after push­ing hard for them over the past months.

“Kaipātiki Lo­cal Board has worked along­side the com­mu­nity to see th­ese proac­tive mea­sures put in place for the pro­tec­tion of our pre­cious kauri,” he says.

“We re­quested that coun­cil staff work with Pest Free Kaipātiki and other lo­cal groups to de­ter­mine what tracks be closed, to en­sure com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and ex­per­tise on this cru­cial is­sue.

“We are aware of the in­con­ve­nience th­ese clo­sures will have on recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties but ask lo­cals and the pub­lic to please re­spect th­ese clo­sures and take al­ter­na­tive routes or ex­plore the wide range of non-kauri parks we are lucky enough to have in our area.”

North Shore Ward Coun­cil­lor Richard Hills says the sup­port of the Kaipātiki com­mu­nity is cru­cial to the ef­fec­tive­ness of the clo­sures.

“As a com­mu­nity, we are pas­sion­ate about pro­tect­ing our lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment. I have con­fi­dence that we will unite to make this a suc­cess.

“We heard loud and clear dur­ing the 10-year bud­get con­sul­ta­tion that res­i­dents wanted ac­tion. I am glad we were able to cre­ate the bud­gets to do this cru­cial work.

“While it is never ideal to have tracks closed, this in­con­ve­nience will have enor­mous ben­e­fits in en­sur­ing th­ese sig­nif­i­cant kauri will be around to en­joy for many years to come.”

Al­ways clean your footwear and equip­ment be­fore en­ter­ing kauri areas and after leav­ing and use any footwear clean­ing sta­tions you en­counter on you visit. Please al­ways stick to des­ig­nated open tracks.

Above: Kaipātiki Lo­cal Board Chair John Gil­lon and deputy chair Danielle Grant at Kauri Park.

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